LOS ANGELES — LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum are among the stars whose teams remain alive in the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament.

The eight-team field for the knockout round was finalized Tuesday night, with the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks advancing from the Eastern Conference and the Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings qualifying from the Western Conference.

Those quarterfinalists survived an opening round in which the league’s 30 teams divided into six groups of five. Each team played the other four teams in its group once. The six group winners automatically qualified for the quarterfinals, and the final two spots were filled by a wild card from each conference.

Several teams punched their tickets to the quarterfinals with victories Tuesday: Milwaukee defeated the Miami Heat, 131-124; Boston blew out the Chicago Bulls, 124-97; New York topped the Charlotte Hornets, 115-91; and Sacramento beat the Golden State Warriors, 124-123. The Pacers and the Lakers were the only teams to clinch their spots before Tuesday.

The knockout round will begin next week with single-elimination quarterfinal games hosted by the top teams from the group stage: The Pacers will host the Celtics and the Kings will host the Pelicans on Monday, while the Bucks will host the Knicks and the Lakers will host the Suns on Tuesday.

The winners of those four games will advance to the tournament semifinals at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 7. The East semifinalists will play the West semifinalists, guaranteeing an East-vs.-West matchup in the Dec. 9 championship game, also in Las Vegas. Each player on the winning team will earn a $500,000 bonus, and each player on the runner-up will earn $200,000. The NBA also will announce an in-season tournament MVP and an all-tournament team.


The Pacers and Bucks posted 4-0 records to win East Group A and East Group B. The Celtics went 3-1 to win Group C, topping the Orlando Magic (3-1) and Brooklyn Nets (3-1) on a tiebreaker. The Knicks, who went 3-1 to finish second in East Group B, claimed the wild-card spot over the Cleveland Cavaliers (3-1), Magic and Nets thanks to a point-differential tiebreaker.

The Lakers won West Group A with a 4-0 record, the Pelicans won West Group B with a 3-1 record and the Kings went 4-0 to win West Group C. The Suns (3-1) claimed the wild-card spot over the Minnesota Timberwolves (3-1) on a point-differential tiebreaker.

The defending champion Denver Nuggets finished with a 2-2 record in West Group B and were eliminated, while the reigning Eastern Conference champion Heat fell short of the quarterfinals with a 2-2 record in East Group B.

All in-season tournament games, with the exception of the championship game, will count as part of each team’s 82-game regular season schedule. The championship game will be an 83rd game that doesn’t count in the standings. The 22 teams that didn’t advance to the quarterfinals will play standard regular-season games Dec. 6 and Dec. 8 to ensure they play a standard 82-game schedule.

To introduce the event, the NBA unveiled bold painted courts that complement each team’s “City Edition” jerseys for use during tournament games. ESPN and TNT will produce collaborative broadcasts from Las Vegas for the semifinals.

THUNDER: The Newport Beach, California, Police Department said that its detectives are conducting an investigation into an accusation that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey had an improper relationship with an underage girl.


In a since-deleted post, an anonymous social media user last week said a girl who is seen with Giddey in videos and photographs was a high school junior at the time. The social media account has since been deactivated.

Giddey, an Australian, turned 21 in October.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league’s investigation is ongoing.

MAVERICKS: Owner Mark Cuban has entered into an agreement to sell a majority stake in the NBA franchise to the family that runs the Las Vegas Sands casino company, it was announced. The deal could be completed in the coming weeks.

The agreement would be in the valuation range of $3.5 billion, according to a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because that detail was not being made public. Cuban would retain control of basketball operations in the deal.

The company controlled by Miriam Adelson, widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, announced earlier Tuesday it was selling $2 billion of her shares to buy an unspecified professional sports team. It revealed Wednesday that the team was the Mavericks.



LAKERS 133, PISTONS 107: D’Angelo Russell scored a season-high 35 points, Anthony Davis had 28 and LeBron James 25, as visiting Los Angeles handed Detroit its franchise-record 15th straight loss.

MAGIC 139, WIZARDS 120: Franz Wagner scored 31 points, Cole Anthony added 25 and Orlando beat visiting Washington for its eighth straight victory.

Jalen Suggs had 22 points for the Magic, who were eliminated from the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament by a tiebreaker Tuesday night. Their win streak is one short of the franchise record set in 1994 and matched twice in this century.

Kyle Kuzma led Washington with 24 points. Deni Avdija added 22 and Jordan Poole scored 19.

RAPTORS 112, SUNS 105: Scottie Barnes scored 23 points, Pascal Siakam had 22 and Toronto ended visiting Phoenix’s seven-game winning streak.

Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter for Phoenix after missing two games because of a sore foot, and fellow star Devin Booker had only eight points. The Suns lost for the first time since a Nov. 12 at home against Oklahoma City.

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